Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness that is similar to daydreaming. It's a deep state of relaxation (sleep of the nervous system) that enables your conscious, rational mind to relax so that the subconscious mind is more readily able to accept positive thoughts and suggestions, helping you to reach your desired goals or change your behavior in a positive way.

What is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis to create a hypnotic state to solve problems and achieve greater insight. Hypnotherapy enables you to change habits, reduce stress and achieve your goals - much more easily than you can in a state of normal awareness or by use of willpower alone.

What does it feel like to be hypnotized?

Have you ever been deep in thought while driving, "zone out" and suddenly realize you missed your exit? Have you ever been so focused on a movie or good book that you didn't hear someone talking to you? Have you ever daydreamed? That's what being hypnotized is like. Being in hypnosis is a relaxing experience - with your attention being focused inward.

Will I be in control of what I do or say during hypnosis?

Yes, the best thing about hypnosis is that you're always in complete control. Even though you attain a deep state of relaxation, you still hear everything that is said. You have the ability to come out of hypnosis at any time you wish by just opening your eyes. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis so you're not going to do anything against your values or morals. As your hypnotherapist, I serve as your guide to help you reach your desired goals, but you always have complete control.

Can I ever get stuck in hypnosis?

No, you can come out of hypnosis just as easily as coming out of a daydream. You are just in a deep state of relaxation and can open your eyes at any time to bring yourself out of hypnosis.

Can everyone be hypnotized?

The majority of people can be hypnotized to achieve positive, long-lasting benefits and results. It requires the willingness and ability to follow directions, to concentrate, and to use your imagination.

What happens in a typical hypnotherapy session?

Your first visit is called the initial visit. During this visit you will be asked to complete a client intake forms. These forms contains questions that will assist me in creating a personalized hypnosis session for your unique situation and needs. We will then discuss the reason you came for hypnotherapy and what goals you would like to set for yourself. I will ask you about any past experiences you may have had and/or answer any questions you may have about hypnosis. We reserve time in the initial session to do a brief session of hypnosis.

PLEASE NOTE: As a hypnotherapist, I do not diagnose, prescribe or treat. If you are seeking hypnosis for any medical or psychological problems (other than weight management), your doctor will need to complete a referral form in order for me to work with you.

Subsequent session:

We will discuss any changes that have occurred or any feedback that you may have from your initial session or discuss any homework you may have been given. We will then determine the goals for this session and proceed.

How do you go about hypnotizing me?

There are many different techniques and styles, but in general...

you will sit or lie in a comfortable position with your eyes closed while I guide you through a full body relaxation. I may play soothing music in the background. I will invite you to relax deeper and ask that you visualize a place where you feel completely relaxed and safe (a beach, a park, the forest, or wherever you want to go). Once you are relaxed, the positive suggestions and imagery that we have mutually agreed upon prior to the session will be made. Finally, I will count you up and bring you back to a fully conscious state...relaxed and awake, aware and feeling great.

We then discuss your hypnotic experience and I'll answer any further questions you may have. If you wish and if time allows, I can then teach you self-hypnosis so that you can continue to reinforce the positive messages in between sessions.

How many sessions will I need?

Generally, three to six sessions are adequate for most issues, but that depends on the subject matter and the depth of the desired change. It is possible to make good progress with one session. Single sessions of hypnotherapy are useful for deep relaxation and stress relief, clarity, decision making, accessing creativity, getting back on track and reinforcing positive change. My goal is to assist you in the shortest amount of time possible. Learning and using self-hypnosis on a daily basis can improve your success rate greatly.

A survey of psychotherapy literature by Alfred A. Barrios, Ph.D. revealed the following recovery rates:

Psychoanalysis: 38% recovery after 600 sessions

Behavior Therapy: 72% recovery after 22 sessions

Hypnotherapy: 93% recovery after 6 sessions

American Health Magazine

Are my conversations confidential?

Yes, all conversations and records are confidential, and can only be released upon your written authorization or as provided for by law.

What's next?

You can call me or email me and together we can determine if hypnosis would be a good option for you. If hypnosis is appropriate for you and your situation, we would most likely schedule two visits - the first of which would be the initial visit (90 minutes, including brief hypnosis) and the second one for a longer, more focused hypnotherapy session. Howver, many areas of concern can be resolved in only one session (for instance, anxiety/stress reduction, fears/phobias, smoking cessation). Many of my clients prefer to purchase a package and book appointments in advance. There's a cost savings with packages, but it's totally up to the individual. Packages do NOT expire and can be used for multiple topics/issues/goals. Packages, however, are NOT tranferable.

Please contact me if you're ready to try hypnosis and empower yourself!

Contact Me Today!

Serenity Through Hypnosis


Kelly M. Gerhardt, MBA, CCHt



100 Professional Center Drive, Ste. #112

(Inside the BodySong Wellness Center)
Novato, CA  94947 

Phone: 415-717-1390

Email Kelly here!



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Kelly M. Gerhardt, Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist